How Will You Ignite Growth?
On November 5, join Canada’s restaurant industry leaders to explore new ways to ignite growth through evolution, transformation, and innovation.
After an exciting debut in 2018, drawing over 100 C-suite executives, the Canadian Restaurant Leadership Summit will return this year with new insights about growing your business in today’s challenging restaurant marketplace. Hosted by The NPD Group and CWB Franchise Finance , this event features an impressive lineup of thought leaders who will share the latest perspectives on your industry’s most talked-about topics.
Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with senior executives from some of the most exciting brands in the Canadian restaurant landscape. You’ll hear from CEOs, culinary leaders, industry innovators, and NPD and CWB Franchise Finance experts. Discussions will range from technology and menu innovation to cannabis legalization and sustainability — plus more of the hot topics that matter to your business.
Hear from the industry’s top CEOs
Gain new insight about the digital transformation, technology, and innovation of the food business
Discover the latest investment, real estate, and growth strategies
Get informed on hot topics from sustainability to cannabis legalization
Explore the innovative, up-and-coming restaurant and menu concepts
This must-attend event kicks off the night before with a welcome cocktail reception. Join CWB Franchise Finance, The NPD Group, official media-partner Foodservice and Hospitality magazine, and our sponsors for an event you simply cannot miss!
Join us for a Welcome Cocktail Reception
to kick off the event on Nov 4 at 4:30 p.m.
401 Bay Street, Simpson Tower, 8th Floor
Toronto, Ontario M5H 2Y4 Canada
For the fifth consecutive year, industry experts will share macro trends influencing the restaurant industry. Explore the latest economic and demographic insights, consumer needs, and trend forecasts. Discover industry trends that impact restaurants from a consumer view and the financial side, and gain new perspectives on the global landscape.
This panel discussion promises to be a candid and compelling conversation with your industry's innovators. The foodservice market’s evolution makes it a real challenge to predict what the next big trend will be—there’s always a moving target. This powerful session will cover Canada’s most relevant foodservice topics, including innovation, evolution, sustainability, and technology.
In this general session, industry leaders on the forefront of the constantly evolving technology and digital frontier share their advice for how to use these new channels to ignite growth. Find out what they have learned and how to navigate these untested waters.
Using Data to Unlock Growth
In a time of rising minimum wage and slow economic growth, organizations need to find paths to sustainable growth. Discover how harnessing the power of internal and external data to guide decisions big and small is becoming tablestakes to compete—but if done right, can become a competitive advantage.
Matching the Capital to Your Growth Plan
What financing options are available to restaurant companies and owners throughout the lifecycle of their businesses? What are the long-term ramifications of selecting particular financing sources and capital structures at each stage? This panel of operators and development and finance experts will discuss matching the right capital with your growth plan, from the start-up phase to maturity, all while not jeopardizing growth and setting up for an optimal exit. The panel will also explore case studies showing how specific, successful Canadian restaurant concepts have evolved over time and look at investment from the perspective of lenders, private equity, and brand owners at different stages in the cycle.
Straight Talk: The Foodservice Legal Landscape
Hear directly from leading Canadian law firms as they uncover the implications of the industry’s top-of-mind subjects, including franchisee dynamics, cannabis legalization, minimum wage, impending trade agreements, and more.
Foodservice and Hospitality hosts a panel of specialists to share their insight on how they are successfully driving on-premise traffic and spend. Learn how to innovate with your on-premise experience by focusing on four key components: food, service, design, and entertainment.
Operational Excellence | Quick Fire!
Optimizing the bottom line is essential, now more than ever, as competition and operating costs in the transforming foodservice environment eat into revenue and profitability. This breakout session features a series of “Quick Fire Rounds” featuring experienced suppliers with deep expertise. Their focus is supporting operators in optimizing the bottom line through HR, labour, training, and reporting processes to deliver the consistent, agile performance demanded in this intensely competitive landscape. Add their expert perspectives to your own industry know-how and discover new ways to ignite growth.
Cannabis and Canadian Foodservice: One Year Later
Cannabis in Canada has come a long way in just one year's time, but more importantly, where is it going? We welcome the cannabis-infused Nomad Cook, Travis Petersen, to show how he is moving cannabis consumption from stigma to mainstream. Many are still operating in a fog when it comes to understanding this burgeoning market, especially when it comes to the consumer. Sharing novel insights from NPD's Cannabis Tracker, we will explore the cannabis-related behaviors of restaurant-goers and how you can capitalize on this opportunity.
The Triple Benefit: Sustainability
Discover how sustainability can benefit your top and bottom line, and, of course, the planet. A panel of experts will discuss the merits and cautions of various sustainable practices including biofuels, packaging, plant-based meat alternatives, and more.
Stay tuned for this exciting announcement!
That’s a wrap!
Robert Carter is a highly-respected consumer behaviour industry expert and a dynamic speaker with a passion for tracking trends and consumer activity. Robert is a sought-after and energetic presenter who is regularly recruited to deliver subject matter expertise on consumer behaviour trends, market activity, and operator and retailer performance. A regular keynote speaker at numerous industry events such as The Canadian Coffee Conference, The Canadian Tea Conference, The Connect Show, The Canadian Restaurant Investment Summit, and The Restaurants Canada Show, Robert is frequently quoted in major newspapers and magazines, appears on television newscasts, and writes a regular column for Foodservice and Hospitality magazine.
Ed Khediguian is Senior Vice President of Franchise Finance for Canadian Western Bank, and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the mortgage and asset-based lending business to the hotel and restaurant sectors across Canada for GE Capital Solutions. Ed has over 20 years of experience in the lodging, hospitality, and restaurant industries.
Prior to joining CWB, Ed led GE Capital’s Franchise Finance division for over 12 years. Prior to GE, Ed was director of a private equity fund for the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (CDP Capital), focused on investing in the leisure and tourism industries. Prior to the Caisse, Ed was with KPMG’s Consulting and Corporate Finance group in Montreal and Toronto, focused on the Hospitality and Leisure sectors. Prior to KPMG, Ed worked for Remington Hotels Corp. out of Dallas, Texas as an asset manager.
Ed attended McGill University’s John Molson School of Business and Cornell University’s Hotel School of Management, graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce and a Masters of Management in Hospitality respectively.
Jacob is AVP, Restaurants with the Franchise Finance Division of Canadian Western Bank, overseeing all aspects of the restaurant lending business which provides financing for branded restaurant chains and professional restaurant groups on both a corporate and franchisee level. Jacob specializes in portfolio and business development for both national and regional chains.
Prior to joining CWB, Jacob spent 13 years and held several roles within GE Capital’s Franchise Finance division, including nine years in commercial and business development, two years in sales support and operations, and two years as a credit & structuring manager.
Jacob received his Bachelor of Commerce in Finance from the University of Guelph.
Rosanna Caira is the editor and publisher of Kostuch Media’s Foodservice and Hospitality and Hotelier magazines. In her capacity as editor of Canada’s two leading hospitality publications, Rosanna directs the editorial and graphic content of both publications, and is responsible for the editorial vision of the magazines, its five websites, as well as the varied tertiary products including e-newsletters, supplements, and special projects. In addition to her editorial duties, Rosanna also serves as publisher of the company, directing the strategic development of the Sales and Marketing, Production, and Circulation departments. Rosanna is the face of the magazines, representing the publications at industry functions and speaking engagements.
Nick Pateras is Vice President of Strategy at Lift & Co. (TSXV: LIFT), Canada's leading cannabis insights and education platform. Lift & Co.’s mission is to empower better cannabis decisions by bridging the informational gap between buyers and sellers.
Prior to joining Lift & Co., Nick spent several years in the pharmaceutical sector with Johnson & Johnson Inc. His background in healthcare led him to make the professional move into cannabis, having long advocated for recognition of its many medical applications.
Nick is a regular speaker at cannabis conferences across North America and Europe and teaches the Cannabis Business Fundamentals course at George Brown College. He holds two degrees, in Business and Philosophy, from Queen's University, Canada.
A highly competitive business leader with a passion for strategy, insights, analytics, and project management, Stephen Young is a proven people leader. He has an ability to build and inspire talent throughout the organization.
Stephen’s career at McDonald’s started in 2007. Over the past 11 years, he has held leadership roles within Finance, Restaurant Development, Project Management, and Strategy & Insights in the Canadian business.
In his current role as Senior Director of Strategy & Insights for Canada, Stephen’s teams are responsible for the strategic direction of the Canadian organization. They assist in the definition of key business drivers, mine consumer and business insights, and align and sequence business-driving initiatives and activations, while driving the top and bottom line through robust analytical methodologies that provide visibility and drive behaviors.
Stephen holds an Honors BAA (Geographic Analytics), MSA (Spatial Analysis), and a PMP (Project Management Professional) designation.
Travis Petersen is a West Coast native, born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia. His interest in food began at an early age. He helped his mom cook nightly which led to his strong belief in the importance of family dinner. Growing up in a diverse population and after years of travelling abroad, Travis’ interest for food and cooking grew into a passion that drove his creativity. In 2015, Travis applied to be a participant on MasterChef Canada, a Canadian competitive cooking reality show. He was selected to compete as one of the Top 40 Chefs in Canada, and from there, things started to move quickly for Travis.
After returning from MasterChef Canada with fresh insights and a greater understanding of the culinary scene and the enormous potential it held, THE NOMAD COOK was born — a culinary brand that offers unique dining experiences through cannabis-infused creations. After Canada voted to legalize recreational use of cannabis in 2018, Travis saw an opportunity and embraced the booming industry, championing the acceptance of cannabis nationwide through food. A growing brand from coast to coast, THE NOMAD COOK offers a new approach for the artist behind the plate and a platform for chefs to cultivate opportunities outside of the traditional restaurant circuit.
Larry Weinberg is a partner at the Toronto law firm of Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP. Since 1989 he has had a practice that specializes in franchise law and providing all necessary legal services to franchisors. He is a member of the International Franchise Association, where he served as a Member of the IFA Board of Directors and as Chair of its Supplier Forum Advisory Board, and the Canadian Franchise Association, where he serves on the CFA Board of Directors and as CFA General Counsel.
He is also the Immediate Past Chair of the International Bar Association’s International Franchising Committee and is a Past-Chair of the Ontario Bar Association’s Franchise Law Section. Larry was the founder of, and to date has organised and chaired four Ontario Bar Association annual franchise law conferences. He is a member of the American Bar Association’s Forum on Franchising, and in 2006, he was the first Canadian lawyer to be appointed Director of the ABA Forum’s International Division and to a leadership role on its Governing Committee. In 2009 he had the honour of being Co-chair of the ABA’s 32nd Annual Forum on Franchising conference.
Chad Finkelstein is a partner at Dale & Lessmann LLP in Toronto, and founder and chair of the firm’s Franchise Practice Group and Cannabis Practice Group. He is a transactional lawyer and a registered trademark agent, and practices in the areas of corporate law, M&A, franchise law, intellectual property law, cannabis law, information technology law, advertising/marketing law, and gaming law. In 2018, he was selected as a winner of Lexpert’s Rising Stars award, recognizing Canada’s leading lawyers under 40 years old. He has been recognized by his peers as a ranked lawyer in such publications as Lexpert, Who’s Who Legal: Canada, Chambers Canada, The Best Lawyers in Canada, and Franchise Times. He contributes to national newspapers regular columns on business, cannabis, franchising, and branding legal issues and is a regular interview subject on national TV news programs.
As the sole owner and visionary behind Gusto 54, Janet stands out as a woman and entrepreneur in the restaurant industry. She is the driving force and soul behind Gusto 54, which in 2019 was recognized as a Deloitte Best Managed Company.
An adventurous traveller, Janet has a unique pulse on the world of restaurants and food. Today she marries that passion with her entrepreneurial spirit by curating innovative and delicious dining experiences on a global scale.
The empire that Janet and her team have built is notable not only for the successes it has seen to date, but also for its contribution to community-building programs that actively support women in leadership, and that educate children to eat in healthy and sustainable ways. Janet holds an MBA from Boston University in Rome, where she lived for eight years.
Christina Kuypers is an entertainment executive with over 15 years of experience in operations management, concept development, and consulting with leading hotels and restaurants in Toronto, Vancouver, Miami and Dubai. As VP of Operations & Guest Experience at Cineplex, Christina currently oversees a multi-brand portfolio of large-scale and high-volume entertainment venues across Canada. Christina is passionate about creating dynamic concepts, memorable guest experiences, and developing talent in the entertainment industry.
For 20 years Patrick has been immersed in the world of Marketing Communications. His experience spans across industries, from tourism to telecommunications, quick service restaurants to not-for-profit and consumer packaged goods and pharmaceuticals.
Patrick takes an all-in approach to his work. As a business leader he helps drive his teams through integrated, cross-discipline programs that stay grounded in sound strategy. He is experienced in seeing the job through and “landing the plane” effectively and efficiently.
When not available by phone, you can often catch him belting a Billy Joel tune at the local karaoke joint.
Darven Erickson joined the predecessor company of Cypress Five Star, Inc. in 2010. At that time, the Company operated two Five Guys Burgers and Fries restaurants. Under his leadership the Company developed 55 Five Guys Burgers and Fries stores between 2011 and 2016, acquired six more in 2017, and became one of the best-operated restaurant companies in Canada. The Company secured the rights to develop Blaze Pizza in Canada and three Western U.S. states in 2015. Since that time, Cypress has opened 30 Blaze Pizza stores.
Darven brings over 30 years of business and leadership experience. He enjoys building teams, operating systems, and structures that support high-performance growth organizations. Darven holds a BS Finance degree from the Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University.
Tom Gaglardi started in the Gaglardi family business at a young age. At 23, he was promoted to President of the hotel group, and at 26 became President of Northland Properties Corporation (the family’s parent company), which is now the largest family-owned hospitality company in Canada.
Tom has been intimately involved with the expansion of the company’s portfolio of hotels, restaurants, and real estate holdings. Some highlights are the acquisition of the Moxie’s restaurant chain in 1998, which is now a national restaurant chain, and the development of the Denny’s restaurant chain across Canada.
Tom currently serves as Chairman and CEO of each of Northland’s operating companies, which includes the Sandman Hotel Group, Sutton Place Hotel Company, Chop Steakhouse & Bar Group, Shark Club Bar & Grill Group, and Revelstoke Mountain Resort, along with other hospitality companies. He is also the owner and governor of the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers, AHL’s Texas Stars, and the Dallas Stars Hockey Club of the NHL.
Sam Pollaro is the CEO and co-founder of Venga, a Washington, D.C.-based technology company that uses big data to help restaurants and fitness companies better understand and engage with their customers. Venga was acquired by Booking Holdings in May 2019.
Before launching Venga, Sam was the founder of Petals for the People, a subscription service for fresh flowers. Petals for the People was acquired by H Bloom, a Battery Ventures backed company in 2010.
Previously, Sam worked in private equity as a Principal at Portfolio Logic Management and a Senior Analyst at Capital Guidance Corporation, and as an Analyst at the strategy consulting firm Dean & Company.
Sam holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. He lives in Washington, DC with his son Theo.
As consumer tastes change and the retail landscape evolves, new business opportunities and threats abound. We offer data, industry expertise, and prescriptive analytics to help our clients grow their businesses in a changing world.
More than 2,000 companies worldwide rely on us to help them measure, predict, and improve performance across all channels. They trust us to benchmark performance, guide strategic decision making, and find the best actions to take regarding pricing, product management, new product innovation, assortment, and customer segmentation.
The members of the CWB Franchise Finance team are experts in serving leading hotel owners and providing both corporate franchisor and franchisee-level financing for prominent restaurant brands in Canada. We believe in getting to know the operations, opportunities, and challenges of each of our clients so we are able to provide them with customized, flexible financing solutions that will help them achieve their business goals. CWB Franchise Finance is a division of Canadian Western Bank.
Contact our Sponsorship Director,
Leanne George, or call 647-291-5140